Chemistry, Materials & Packaging
Dow's Reverse Osmosis Technology Earns Bronze Edison Award

Last week, not long after Dow designated its FILMTEC™ ECO Reverse Osmosis (RO) Elements as its second Breakthrough to a World Challenge, the technology garnered a prestigious Edison Award.

A program within the Edison Universe organization, the Edison Awards have recognized and honored some of the most innovative business leaders in the world, including Nielsen, Keurig Incorporated, Henkel, and Black and Decker®, and are among the most prestigious accolades honoring excellence in new product and service development, marketing, design and innovation.

Dow was presented with the Bronze Edison Award for FILMTEC ECO Elements in the Energy/Sustainability and Commercial Resource Management category. The judging committee recognized FILMTEC ECO Technology for its ability to significantly reduce the energy required to remove impurities from water.

Dow Water & Process Solutions scientists developed FILMTEC ECO RO Elements in response to the increasingly perilous state of water quality and demand; the technology includes one of the most advanced water-purification polymer chemistries available today. FILMTEC ECO Elements can help deliver up to 40 percent better water purification while using up to 30 percent less energy, resulting in up to 19 percent lower operating costs.

These benefits provide manufacturers, for which water is a critical utility and/or process ingredient, with an ecologic and economic advantage when making everyday products such as electronics, clothing, food and beverages. FILMTEC ECO Elements also helps reduce the need for chemicals used to clean the membranes, helping to improve their power production uptime.

“Energy consumption is the number one controllable resource in the water-energy nexus,” said Snehal Desai, global business director for Dow Water & Process Solutions. “The Edison Award recognition is very important to us, as it shows our technologies and innovations, like FILMTEC ECO Reverse Osmosis Elements, are making impacts on real-world issues like water and energy scarcity.”

In the first 10 years of use, Dow says FILMTEC ECO Elements will help produce 15 trillion m3 of clean water (more than 6 million Olympic-sized swimming pools), while providing more than 2 billion kWh (Kilowatt hours) of energy savings and reducing carbon dioxide (CO2 ) emissions by 1.5 million metric tons.

“Increasingly, breakthrough innovations require multi-disciplinary expertise,” said A.N. Sreeram, corporate vice president of Research & Development at Dow. “FILMTEC ECO Technology is the result of collaboration across chemistry, engineering, material science and marketing. It’s a tangible demonstration of how we’re bringing innovations to the market with deep technical expertise, customer intimacy, global reach and a diverse product portfolio.”

Last year, GE unveiled its answer to higher-efficiency reverse osmosis technology – the company says its AG LF series is a low-fouling reverse osmosis (RO) membrane can reduce the amount of harmful effluent wastewater that is sent to municipal sewage or to fresh water sources. It features a unique coating technology that improves cleaning cycles, reduces pressure and reduces friction on the surface of the membrane, making it resistant to organic fouling.
Improving global water quality is a cause more and more brands are getting behind:

  • In February, H&M and WaterAid launched a new global partnership aimed at improving the health, education and future prospects of students by delivering safe water, sanitation and hygiene education programs in schools throughout the developing world. The H&M Conscious Foundation, which will donate $9.3 million, said the initiative will not only deliver immediate and long-term improvements to health and education, but also influence national and international policies around the right to safe water and sanitation.
  • In March, TOMS announced the opening of its new Roasting Company, making coffee its third “one for one” product — already making impacts with its shoes and eyewear, sales of TOMS Coffee will help improve access to clean water in the countries from which the company sources its beans: Every cup purchased will provide a day’s worth of clean water; for every bag, a week’s worth.
  • Late last month, the Acqua for Life campaign — a partnership between Giorgio Armani and Green Cross International (GCI) that has been rolling out sustainable drinking water systems in water-scarce communities in West Africa (Ghana) and Latin America (Bolivia and Mexico) since its launch in 2011 — announced it will now extend its work to Sri Lanka, Ivory Coast and Senegal for the first time this year.
  • And this week, the Coca-Cola Company and WaterHealth International (WHI) announced a plan to bring safe drinking water to one million school children in 2,000 schools in developing countries by the end of 2015. The Child with Water program aims to deliver 500 million liters of safe drinking water a year to school children through water-purification systems installed, operated and maintained by WHI.
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